“We dedicate tonight’s show to a man whose spirit touched so many,” Palmer said. “He is a true hero, not just on screen, but in everything he did. His impact lives forever.”
The first commercial of the broadcast was also a tribute to Boseman, a minute-long spot sharing his 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Hero speech. He quickly gave the statue to James Shaw Jr., who stopped a gunman at a Tennessee Waffle House in April of that year.
The world needs more superheroes, and we all deserve to see ourselves in them. Chadwick Boseman helped make that happen. Rest in power. pic.twitter.com/d05kkkQR6b
— MTV (@MTV) August 31, 2020
Boseman had been secretly fighting colon cancer for four years, his family announced on Friday. The news came as a shock to many, as Boseman had been undergoing cancer treatment while making several of his biggest films, including “Black Panther,” “Marshall” and “Da 5 Bloods.”
In “Black Panther,” Boseman played T’Challa, the fearless king of the African nation Wakanda. The film went on to earn six nominations at the 2018 Academy Awards, including best picture, making it the first superhero movie to be nominated in the category. “Black Panther” was a hit at the box office and among critics and fans alike for being the first major superhero film with a Black main character.
After news broke of Boseman’s death, plenty of other big names in the entertainment industry paid their respects and shared their favorite memories with the actor on social media.
Tom Holland, who debuted as Spider-Man alongside Boseman’s first appearance in “Captain America: Civil War,” wrote a tribute on Instagram.
“Chadwick, you were even more of a hero off screen than on. A role model not only to me on set, but to millions of others around the world. You brought joy and happiness to so many and I’m proud to have been able to call you a friend,” he wrote.
See the full list of VMAs nominees and winners here.